Got your barf bag handy? The AP did an (unsurprisingly) glowing puff piece on MSDNC’s chief angry man Chris Matthews – I’ll save you the trouble of reading the whole thing by providing you with the most mind-blowingly hilarious (but on the other hand, infuriating) excerpts (bolded emphasis added by me):
The veteran MSNBC host raised his profile as much as any member of the television commentariat during the presidential campaign. His 5 p.m. “Hardball” show has seen viewership jump by 24 percent this year from 2011, 17 percent for the rerun two hours later.
Matthews symbolized MSNBC’s growing comfort in being a liberal alternative to Fox News Channel. He engaged in an uncomfortable on-air confrontation with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, seemed nearly apoplectic when President Barack Obama flubbed his first debate and had to apologize for appearing grateful that Hurricane Sandy might have helped Obama’s re-election effort.
With Keith Olbermann out of sight, Matthews essentially replaced him as the commentator that most annoyed conservative viewers.
“He’s as good as he’s ever been,” said Phil Griffin, MSNBC president. “He’s at a place in his life where he’s really comfortable in his own skin. He’s a statesman. He has so much knowledge and I think he understands it better. He’s always been great, but I really think he’s been at the peak of his game.”
Iraq turned Matthews against Bush. He said war and peace, and civil rights, are the issues that drive him most and explain his enthusiasm for Obama.
Matthews seemed personally offended by efforts in individual states to tighten voter registration and identification laws. Republicans called it an attempt to curb voter fraud; Matthews said it was to suppress voters friendly to Obama. He said Republicans would use welfare and other issues to subtly appeal to white voters still uncomfortable with a black president.
“The number of African-Americans who have come up to me in the last three to six months has been unbelievable,” Matthews said in a recent interview. “They come up, six inches from my face, and say `thank you.’ A lot of the times they say we can’t do this like you do it. It’s harder for them because it sounds like complaining.” He’s disappointed that more whites didn’t express gratitude, too.
His repeated attention to the issue “irritates some people, because they can’t stand being called bigoted. It drives them crazy. And I agree, it would drive me crazy.”
Matthews said “Hardball” has gotten a sharper focus. The editorial opinion has moved to the front of the show. Saying what he thinks isn’t hard; Matthews’ flirtation with running for the Senate ended in part because the need to adhere to party orthodoxy wouldn’t mix with a man comfortable with voicing a dozen opinions per minute.
“I never want to do what everybody else is doing,” he said. “I don’t want to be part of the chorus.”
“He is sort of the model figure for who we are,” Griffin said. “He doesn’t stick out loving politics and being passionate about politics. It comes across in everything we do … And that’s Chris.”
I love Weasel Zippers’ short, sweet, and to the point response to Griffin’s remarks:
A shameless Obama worshipper who plays the race card as easy as he breathes is MSNBC’s “model,” . . . sounds about right.
“Leg tingles available on Aisle 5!”